Published: Tue, April 10, 2018
Sci-tech | By Brandy Patterson

Uber pays nine figures for Brooklyn-based Jump Bikes

Uber pays nine figures for Brooklyn-based Jump Bikes

Even the ride-hailing corporation on Monday said it purchased Jump Bikes, a brand new York-based business that operates in 40 United States metropolitan areas.

That's why I think further integration into the Uber app will be such a big deal, especially as the service expands into more cities. The company's reputation is still reeling from ex-CEO Travis Kalanick's endless scandals, a self-driving auto fatality last month, the pesky #DeleteUber movement, a giant legal settlement for stealing self-driving vehicle technology, and of course the Susan Fowler harassment essay that won Uber an unflattering place in the #MeToo movement. A few years later we launched our first pilot programs with 150 bikes spread across four small projects, and by 2017 we had deployed over 12,000 dockless bikes in 40 cities across 6 countries. Several of Uber's worldwide competitors, including Chinese giant Didi, have invested in or partnered with bike-share startups.

Currently, JUMP is the only dockless bike sharing company that's permitted to operate in San Francisco, and for the moment that operation is relatively small in scale.

Uber has acquired Jump Bikes, which rents out bright red electric bicycles, that can be picked up and left anywhere, to customers in Washington and San Francisco for $2 per 30 minutes.

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Even as Uber is backing away from some global markets, the Jump acquisition shows the company is still willing to invest in new ways to reach customers.

The case relates to Uber's use of unlicensed drivers as part of its UberPOP service, a low-priced ridesharing solution in Europe. "You drive down a street, you see bikes everywhere, all scattered out", Dallas City Council member Tennell Atkins told the Wall Street Journal late last month. Now no dockless-biking companies have been authorized to operate in the city, but in December the NYC DOT put out a request for expressions of interest from such ventures.

The ECJ said that since Uber was offering a transport service under European Union law the obligation to notify the Commission in advance did not apply. As of February, Jump said it planned to launch its service in Sacramento by May.

Uber sees bikes as an easy way to provide fast and very affordable transportation.

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For Jump, the backing of Uber is a much-needed boost for a company operating in an intensely competitive and well-funded space that is seeing significant momentum in the U.S.

Reuters says that 100 JUMP employees will join Uber's team after the sale goes through. We will of course look to our many teams to help JUMP scale in our uniquely Uber way!

But the crowd of startups has begun to thin through acquisitions, including Didi's deal with Bluegogo and China Internet company Meituan Dianping's purchase of Mobike.

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